Mari's Dirty Fingers

A Newbie's Garden Experiment

Touring the School Garden

on April 3, 2013
9 boxes and a flower garden

9 boxes and a flower garden

Let me give you a tour of the garden as it looks right now.  Each garden box is assigned to a different classroom and is in a different stage of prepping, planting, and harvesting.  Many are covered by bird netting to protect them from bird and human pests.  We are in planting zone 10, so we are busy all year round.  I’ll write a separate post describing the demographics of this urban school and the importance of a school garden for this area. Today is just about showing off what a great job the students have done!

Box 1  Planted 3/21/13

Radish, pole beans, carrots, cilantro, loose leaf lettuce, Black Plum tomato, and zucchini

Second Grade Box

Second grade box

Box 2  Planted 2/15/13

Loose leaf lettuce, radish, carrots, beets, onions, Ibes bush bean (indigenous to Yucatan, Mexico)

Second Grade Box

Second grade box

Box 3  Planted 3/13/13

zucchini, Thai basil, bush beans, beets, carrots, radish, lettuce

Second Grade Box

Second grade box

Box 4  Planted 1/10/13

Radish, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choi (yellow flowers), and a volunteer sunflower

Third grade box

Third grade box

Box 5  Planted 11/15/12

Strawberries, loose leaf lettuce, carrots, radish, onions, and volunteer nasturtium

Second Grade Box

Second Grade Box

Box 6  Planted 1/15/13

Peas, loose leaf lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, strawberries

High garden box is wheelchair accessible for the special education class.

High garden box is wheelchair accessible for the special education class.

Box 7  Planted 3/6/13

Zucchini, soy bean, Thai basil, bush beans, carrots, radish, lettuce

First Grade Garden Box

First Grade Garden Box

Box 8  Planted sometime in December 2012

Brussel sprouts, carrots, peas, lettuce, radish, nasturtium, and some purple flowers

Third grade box

Third grade box

Box 9  Planted sometime in December 2012

Kale, lettuce, carrots, Narcissus flower, and some purple flowers

Third Grade Box

Third Grade Box

The Corn Field  Transplanted 3/11/13

Corn Field

Corn Field

The California Native Plant Garden

Original plantings May 2012.  Additional plantings March 2013. I will make a separate post for the natives once everything is in full spring bloom.

California Native Plant Garden

California Native Plant Garden

Hope you enjoyed the tour and I wish you happy gardening!

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11 responses to “Touring the School Garden

  1. 2me4art says:

    Reblogged this on 2me4art and commented:
    i would like to have this on a much smaller scale, please.

    • marislunch says:

      Thanks for the reblog. I have one garden box at home. I can’t manage any more and still do a good job at school. I do the summer maintenance in the school garden, so the sneaky truth is that I get to harvest and eat all the summer veggies while the kids are on vacation! 🙂

      • 2me4art says:

        Well, I would say no one deserves it more! I hope to get four boxes. One being for cut flowers. I already have a lavender “bed” I have about 15 Hydrangea. We have a blue berry bed, but always talk about getting a net just as they are beginning to turn & then…and then there were none. We feed the rabbits our strawberries…I love gardening, but I’m more of a fruit girl, I go nuts with different varieties of cherry, grape tomatoes. See? Fruit, we just go outside pick one & a basil leaf & snack. Babbling. Apologies.-amy

  2. Oldschool says:

    What a wonderful idea. I wish more schools would do this. Thanks for sharing.

    • marislunch says:

      My son’s second grade teacher worked on the grant to get the garden made several years ago. He did the same at his previous school too. That other garden is at least twice as big as ours. When he changed school, no one took over the running of the garden and it sits unused, taken over by weeds. It makes me sad every time I drive by there.

      • Oldschool says:

        One question, who picked out what they planted or was it based on seed donations?

      • marislunch says:

        Yes, the seeds are donated and that mostly decides what we plant. Since each box is used by a different class, we can be repetitive with the plantings. In addition, some teachers will purchase their own seeds or plants if they want something different or special. I must admit that I’m biased to my son’s present and past teachers so I purchased the strawberries for them and had them plant the corn and watermelon.

  3. Hilary says:

    awesome! I love the wheel chair accessible box! I’m having so much fun seeing all you’re doing at his school! What a great mom! I’m having fun learning to grow things at home too! I look forward to owning our own place one day so I can go crazy and not just plant in flower beds 😀

    • marislunch says:

      The wheelchair accessible box was one of the worst boxes when it came to weeds. You couldn’t see the soil it was so thick. We told the teacher we were going to dismantle it and sift the soil over the winter break and he showed up to help us! He said he had given up on the box but now he takes his kids out weekly. The teachers want to garden, but the maintenance is more than they can handle on their own.
      Keep gardening Hil!

  4. Kristin says:

    Love the way you use bird netting to keep out humans. I could use that at our garden so we can deter the pinchers.

    • marislunch says:

      Last year we had a big problem with disappearing veggies. The kids did not get to taste their tomatoes because they were gone before they could pick them. There are 8 teachers using the garden this year compared to 3 last year. Everyday there is 1 or 2 classes out there tending their plants. That’s about 200 students a week in the garden. The kids give their parents tours. I think this is why the parents are behaving better this year. That and bird netting.

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